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Device Profile: ThinLinx Hot-E thin client device

Jul 20, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 67 views

ThinLinx will launch a line of Linux-based thin-clients that access Ubuntu Linux desktops and commercial Linux applications hosted on ThinLinx's grid network. The Hot-E initially offers Firebird database, Compiere and OpenCRX ERP/CRM software, E-GroupWare, and LinuxCanada POS/accounting software. It uses caching X proxies from NoMachine to improve performance.


ThinLinx's highly compact Hot-E thin clients

The company lists possible uses for the device that include:

  • Wireless ISP using NoCat
  • POS (point-of-sales)
  • Video walls of unlimited size using multiple Hot-E's

Additionally, the company says it is readying handheld and laptop versions of the Hot-E, and is available to work with clients on custom needs.

The “legacy-free” design (i.e. no PS2 ports) includes two USB 2.0 ports, an RS232/RS485 port, a CompactFlash slot, SD/MMC slot, audio I/O, 10/100 Ethernet, and a DB15 CRT socket. The device can be powered by a 12-Volt “Plugpack,” or optionally by PoE (power-over-Ethernet).


The Hot-E is rather small

What's under the hood?

The Hot-E clients are powered by an Atmel AT91RM9200 SoC, based on an ARM9 core clocked at 200MHz. They also include a Silicon Motion SM501 graphics SoC, which supports SXGA (1280 x 1024) resolution.

The device boots a Linux 2.6.12 kernel and loads a Debian ARM Linux filesystem from 8MB of Flash, running it in 64MB of RAM. Alternatively, the Hot-E device can run a full Debian ARM Linux installed on a CompactFlash card, or LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Software), ThinLinx says.

The Hot-E will be among the first commercial applications of NoMachine's NX technology, which places a caching proxy server at both ends of the client-server connection used by the X protocol. NoMachine launched NX in September of 2003, asking the open source community to help. Much of NX technology is available under a free license.


NX architecture diagram
(Click to enlarge)

NoMachine updated NX in November of 2004, and this year, has licensed NX to Linux thin-client vendor SmartFlex, and signed a development agreement with Linux server software vendor Win4Lin.

Availability

The Hot-E will be available in about six weeks.


Left outside to dry, Tux was attacked by a kangaroo AND a crow, but was successfully repaired in time for the company launch party


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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